On the first visit to Israel .. Bin Zayed and Lapid discuss the crisis in Ukraine
Yair Lipd and Abdullah bin Zayed (File Photo/AFP)

The UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, discussed with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, the crisis in Ukraine, on his first visit to Tel Aviv.

On Sunday, Abdullah bin Zayed arrived on an unannounced visit to Israel to participate with his Egyptian counterparts, Sameh Shoukry, Bahraini Abdellatif Al-Zayani, and Moroccan Nasser Bourita, in the “Negev Summit” attended by their American counterpart, Anthony Blinken.

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The Emirates News Agency WAM reported that bin Zayed and Lapid “discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations (…), and exchanged views on developments on the regional and international arenas, including the crisis in Ukraine.”

On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine, which was followed by angry international reactions and the imposition of “tough” economic and financial sanctions on Moscow.

Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan thanked Lapid for “the warm welcome on his first official visit to Israel,” stressing that the relations between the two countries “are witnessing continuous growth and development.”

In a related context, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Abdul Latif Lapid, discussed, in a second separate meeting, “the political and security situation in the Middle East, regional and international situations and their repercussions on the security of the region,” according to the Bahrain News Agency.

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And the Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated, in a statement on Sunday evening, that Shoukry and Lapid held a bilateral meeting, in addition to holding a meeting of Arab foreign ministers over dinner at the invitation of Lapid.

And earlier on Sunday, Lapid’s office said, in a statement, that separate bilateral talks took place between the prime minister and the Arab ministers, noting that the launch of the “historic meeting”, which will last for two days in the Negev desert, far south of Israel.

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This summit will be held on Sunday and Monday in a hotel in Kibbutz (cooperative village) “Sde Boker” in the Negev desert (south), and focuses on the “Iranian threat,” according to the Hebrew media.

Of the 22 Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan are bound by two peace treaties with Israel since 1979 and 1994, respectively.

While the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco signed, in 2020, agreements to normalize relations with Israel, under US auspices, and Sudan joined them in 2021.

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